Model 3's Non-Leather Steering Wheel

Kizzy

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#1
After learning that Model S and X have leather steering wheels as standard, I was concerned about what the Model 3 would have. Though some folks have requested vegan steering wheels for their cars, it was hard for me to imagine the same for the Model 3.

I sent an email to Tesla sales to ask for more information. The steering wheel on the Model 3 does not have leather. Yay! But the entire car may not be vegan, however. Boo.

Here's the response:

My name is Chanel and I’m an Inside Sales Advisor here at Tesla. Thank you for your interest in our vehicles and products. Model 3’s are leather-free because unlike Model S/X, Model 3 does not have a leather steering wheel. Please be aware that our interiors are not 100% vegan due to various adhesives that may not be actually vegan; however, It is free of any animal hides. I hope this information helps!
 

skygraff

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#2
That is very helpful and, must say, well considered by Chanel. Most wouldn't think about the adhesives when answering that question.

Thanks for asking it!
 

Michael Russo

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#3
So does that mean to say that even the Premium interior does not have a leather steering wheel? @TrevP , were you able to touch it??
 

skygraff

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#4
Old thread but, now that I've got a scheduled delivery date, here's the latest from my own ISA:

It has never been brought to my attention what the steering wheel is wrapped with in the Model 3. However, I asked my supervisor and it turns out that the Model 3 is totally vegan friendly! The steering wheel is not wrapped in true leather, but rather the same premium engineered material that’s used for the seats.
Didn't remember this conversation when I asked so kind of a wasted interaction with the ISA (didn't bring up the adhesives).
 

TrevP

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#5
My Model X does not have a leather steering wheel. Tesla did away with that when they went to full synthetic seats.
 

garsh

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#8
Sorry, I had reported that in another thread a while ago.
Ok, I got an official response from Tesla.
Sorry for those who prefer vegan - the steering wheel is leather.
To answer your question on this one, the steering wheel in Model 3 is wrapped in real leather. There is no available option from Tesla for a non-leather steering wheel in a Model 3 at this time.

You should be okay to share this information and validate it comes from Tesla. We will make sure our Customer Experience teams have this information as well.
 

Kizzy

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#10
Ugh. This is so frustrating. I just got off the phone with someone from Sales at Tesla and I was told that the steering wheel is not leather. I brought up the shareholder meeting and asked when the change was made, but was still informed that the material was created in-house and didn't get a firm date.

I think I'll need to try calling again and escalate to talk to someone with more direct knowledge.
 

BigBri

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#11
I was frusterated earlier when I went to clean my wheel.. if it's synthetic I'd just use spray nine.. which isn't leather safe. So I just opted for leather cleaner as it doesn't hurt synthetic just wouldn't clean as well and leaves a greasy coating.
 

PNWmisty

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#12
I was frusterated earlier when I went to clean my wheel.. if it's synthetic I'd just use spray nine.. which isn't leather safe. So I just opted for leather cleaner as it doesn't hurt synthetic just wouldn't clean as well and leaves a greasy coating.
Mine is real leather. And I'm glad about this in case I get blizzard-bound I will have something to gnaw on. ;)
 

Long Ranger

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#14
At the June 5, 2018 annual shareholder meeting, a question was asked about whether Tesla would eliminate the leather wrapped steering wheels in their cars. Franz and Elon responded that they are looking into it, and that currently anyone can actually request an "off menu" vegan steering wheel.

I've called a few times to request the vegan steering wheel, and I'm always told that this is something I need to work out with my Delivery Advisor once one is assigned. The problem is that I won't be assigned a Delivery Advisor until I have a VIN, and of course once I have a VIN, they'll tell me that the car is already built. The last person I talked to consulted with his supervisor, others in the office, and a delivery person, and ultimately confirmed that, yes, that's the process. Has anyone else been through this?

EDIT: My question posed in the original thread title that I tried to create with this post (in the ordering forum) was "Has anyone successfully requested a vegan steering wheel?"
 
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Long Ranger

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#15
Well this is really frustrating. I was finally assigned an IDA, and I requested a vegan steering wheel (pointing out the stated "off menu" availability at the shareholders' meeting). She looked into it, but this is the response that I got back:

"Our seats are made out of Premium Engineered Material (polyurethane), and the steering wheel is leather. We don’t have the ability to switch out the steering wheel with a vegan option, I have confirmed the information with my supervisor."

I'm hoping this is just a mistake. It would be pretty bad if Franz and Elon were just making that up about an available vegan option at the shareholders' meeting.
 

Kizzy

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#16
Thanks for reporting back, @Long Ranger.

Last week, I spoke with someone in service about the cost to replace a steering wheel with a non-leather-wrapped wheel. I was told this was not possible, but work continues on creating a solution to provide the option or to switch the material used for steering wheels.

I'm currently seeing about getting my car delivered without any steering wheel wrapping (if they're unable to provide a non-leather option). It's leading back to the IDA as the point person to make anything happen. Though I don't yet have a VIN assigned, I have an IDA?
 

Long Ranger

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#17
Well, I politely pressed the issue with my IDA, and repeatedly pointed out that Franz and Elon made public statements at the shareholders' meeting that an off-menu vegan offering was currently available for those who request it. I asked to have the supervisor check with management about the public statement. The IDA checked again with a supervisor and replied that while they are working on a vegan option (with no specific timeframe), nothing is available at this time.

She also informed me that my car is available for delivery next week! Just need to decide now whether to take it or hold out for a possible vegan offering in the coming months, but I'm not too optimistic about the chances of that happening before the end of the year. I'm sure there's somebody here in Seattle waiting on a Blue AWD that wouldn't mind at all if I deferred!
 

MelindaV

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#18
I think you need to pick your battles and know which may not be worth the effort (time waiting).
I would (not being vegan) suggest taking the car when delivered and have a local upholstery shop recover the wheel with an acceptable material. While that doesn't prevent that one particular piece of leather from having been used, you at least could get a replacement installed and ready for you to drive much quicker than potentially waiting for the factory option.

side story... years ago I worked up in Seattle at SBUX HQ. One of my coworkers was a young buddhist. one day at a department outing (I think it was to alki beach) one of the other guys started quizzing him on what is acceptable or not. obviously eating any animal product was not, or harming any animal. This lead to someone asking about a smooshed bug on his car windshield. He shook his head shrugged and said, "it makes me sad, but it is what it is, Im not going to stop driving a car". Maybe this steering wheel is your bug to be sad about, but accept.
 

iChris93

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#19
I think you need to pick your battles and know which may not be worth the effort (time waiting).
I would (not being vegan) suggest taking the car when delivered and have a local upholstery shop recover the wheel with an acceptable material. While that doesn't prevent that one particular piece of leather from having been used, you at least could get a replacement installed and ready for you to drive much quicker than potentially waiting for the factory option.

side story... years ago I worked up in Seattle at SBUX HQ. One of my coworkers was a young buddhist. one day at a department outing (I think it was to alki beach) one of the other guys started quizzing him on what is acceptable or not. obviously eating any animal product was not, or harming any animal. This lead to someone asking about a smooshed bug on his car windshield. He shook his head shrugged and said, "it makes me sad, but it is what it is, Im not going to stop driving a car". Maybe this steering wheel is your bug to be sad about, but accept.
While overall, I agree with what you're trying to say. I think its fair to keep fighting for the vegan option because of what Elon and Franz said.

I am not vegan either though I did become a vegetarian a little over a year ago because of the environmental impact of the meat industry and mostly eat vegan at home.